Perry Link: A Message Too Powerful to Stop

In the International Herald Tribune, Perry Link comments on a recent blog post by Han Han:

This month, Han Han, aged 28, a master of Aesopian wit and probably China’s most widely read blogger, wrote this:

The world over, a country is like a woman and the government is like the man who possesses her. Some couples live happily and feel satisfied. Some get along smoothly. Some have tense relations, some see domestic violence. In some cases the woman can divorce the guy and marry someone else, and in other cases she’s not allowed to. But whatever the case, when you love a woman you shouldn’t have to crank “loving her man” into the bargain.

Han Han is somewhat different from the “dissidents” in China. He writes in elusive, acerbic terms — the “cool” language of younger people, who are his main readership — and gets away with statements that are at least as devastating as anything dissidents say. He differs, too, in the numbers of his readers. An intellectual dissident feels lucky if an Internet essay draws 20,000 hits. Han Han’s essays often get more than a million, as well as strings of comments in the tens of thousands. Since its inception in November 2006, Han Han’s blog has had 421 mllion visits. His huge following protects him, too, because China’s rulers can imagine the size of the rebellion that a shut-down of his blog might trigger.

September 30, 2010 10:43 AM
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